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Bush Rejects Latest Taleban Offer on Bin Laden - 2001-10-14


A top Taleban leader says alleged Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden could be handed over to a neutral country for trial if sufficient evidence of his guilt in last month's attacks in the United States is provided -- but President Bush immediately rejected the offer.

Taleban Deputy Prime Minister Haji Abdul Kabir told reporters in the city of Jalalabad that if the Taleban is given evidence that Osama bin Laden was behind the September 11th terrorist attacks -- and if the U-S bombing stops -- the Taleban would be ready to hand him over to a third country.

But he also said the Taleban would have to be assured that the third country is not under the influence of the United States.

A White House spokeswoman rejected the Taleban offer, saying there would be no negotiations. Osama bin Laden is believed to be hiding somewhere in Afghanistan, and U-S officials think he was the mastermind of the September 11th attacks on New York and Washington.

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